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Fraternity Recruitment Basics

Fraternity Recruitment Basics

 

Fraternity brothers know recruitment inside and out. It’s one of the most crucial efforts their chapter makes each semester.

But what exactly makes for successful fraternity recruitment?

Recruitment, both in quality and quantity, impacts a chapter for years to come. It’s important that brothers learn, integrate, and perfect effective recruitment practices.

Fraternity recruitment begins with planning and strategy to bid the best new brothers possible, followed by values-and-conversation-based recruitment events and meetings, which leads to educated decisions on voting and placing bids.

Even if your chapter only holds rush for one week every semester or year, recruitment is really a year-round process.

Pulling off a successful rush means different things to different fraternities. Whether you’re part of an IFC or other general social fraternity council, or one that is cultural, academic, faith-based, or professional, your goals and approach to new membership will differ.

However, there are common steps almost all chapters take toward recruitment:

  1. Electing a recruitment chair and transitioning from one officer to the next
  2. Planning, budgeting for events, strategizing, coordinating with the Greek Life office and chapter advisors
  3. Holding values-based rush events, avoiding risks and distractions, to maximize conversation with Potential New Members
  4. The voting and bidding process
  5. Initiation, new member education, and ongoing brother development

Recruitment doesn’t begin and end with rush week. In fact, while executing rush week is extremely important, it’s probably the least time-consuming part of the recruitment process.

Let’s go into each of these steps toward building your brotherhood in a little more detail. Here are OmegaFi’s Fraternity Recruitment Basics.

 

Your Recruitment Chair and Why He Matters

A chapter’s next recruitment cycle begins the day you elect a new recruitment officer.

Although any brother can be trained to be an officer, there are some brothers who may be more suited for the role. Good recruitment chairs are often outgoing, organized, good students, and older chapter members.

This is someone who understands both the campus culture and Greek culture, and who can speak confidently about your chapter and its goals to PNMs.

You want him to be a leader who embodies your chapter values, since he will be the first to contact many prospective members.

A recruitment chair must also have time to dedicate to spearheading rush, planning and strategizing, meeting with recruitment advisors, maintaining a contact list with PNMs, and acting as the main point of recruitment communications.

However, he doesn’t act alone.

The outgoing officer must train the new officer properly, both on the technical parts of the job and how to interact with PNMs. This doesn’t happen overnight, and it can be a long learning process.

Executive officers must work together with the recruitment chairman to plan and strategize and to set a budget.

Make sure all brothers understand their role and expected conduct during rush.

All must work together to pull off a successful rush.

Planning before You Rush In

Some brothers might joke that planning for the next rush period begins the day after the current one ends.

It turns out that’s not much of an exaggeration. Rush is one of the biggest efforts in shaping any fraternity chapter, so naturally it takes months of planning.

Budgeting by the treasurer and executive board requires forethought, and the numbers can range widely from chapter to chapter. It may factor in things like food, flyers, posters, and tee-shirts, some decorations, or any number of other rush-related costs.

Sometimes a budget will be limited by your Greek Life office or umbrella organization on campus, and this must be adhered to.

Chapter budgeting software like OmegaFi’s Vault can help keep your recruitment budget accurate, and ensure you account for everything and stay out of the red.

Brothers should rely on past strategies that have worked and lean on the values and expectations of advisors and administrators.

However, it’s also important to be bold. You want to stand out from other chapters to attract the best PNMs possible. That doesn’t mean having better decorations and skits or louder music.

It means finding genuine ways to reach out to prospects within the confines of the rules.

Plan so brothers can connect with PNMs in ways that are conversation-based and explore if your values are a match. This makes it easier to look out for red flags, like someone who constantly puts partying over academics or has aggressive or risk-prone behavior.

A properly planned rush puts you in the best position to bring in the right brothers every time.

What’s a Values-Based Rush?

A chapter’s letters represent certain values. So does the Greek community on that chapter’s campus. Some universal fraternal values include things like integrity, equality, fairness, philanthropy, hard work, friendship, and leadership.

Recruitment should reflect those values and present them in a consistent way to PNMs.

All fraternity rush events should:

  • focus on PNM conversations
  • minimize distractions like loud music
  • avoid alcohol
  • avoid risky behavior, especially hazing
  • meet brother conduct expectations

Brothers should understand and follow regulations relating to rush set by administrators and advisors, as well as the consequences when one of these regulations is broken.

They should consult with recruitment and chapter advisors if there is any question about ensuring a safe, efficient, values-based recruitment.

Voting and Bidding 101

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Keep a thorough database of PNMs, including biographical data, contact information, if they’re a legacy, if they have any red flags that make them a risk, GPA, their major, what year they are, and so on.

This leads to a more informed vote by brothers.

Your chapter may vote multiple times during the rush process or just once at the end. Either way, keep your values-based approach when voting and placing bids.

Let alumni advisors in on the membership decision making. They often have valuable insights and experience that they bring to the table.

Consider using fraternity recruitment software. This way you can make the process easier with features like tracking PNM information in a central, online hub, voting electronically, and automating your bid list if your university uses ICS recruitment software.

Recruitment Doesn’t End with Recruitment

While it may seem like you’re done the moment you turn in your bid list, it’s just the beginning.

Fraternity brotherhood is a lifelong growth process.

You’re recruiting men who may seem like great brothers now, but without fostering the right qualities, they can adopt bad habits that will hurt your chapter as they become senior members.

Have a solid plan for integrating and educating members, not just when they’re first going through the initiation process, but the whole time they’re brothers.

Chapters who place leadership and continuing education at the forefront are building a better tomorrow, from PNM, to brother, to future professional and alumni.

OmegaFi provides software tools to fraternity chapters for recruitment, budgeting, communication, and more. See what we have to offer here or call us direct at 800.276.6342.